Lovely Syn, ridden by Javier Castellano, popped out of the gate in front and never looked back.
“I’ve ridden a lot of good horses, but this one is amazing,” said Castellano of the Dominick Schettino-trained filly, who has won her four career starts by a combined margin of 28 ¾ lengths. “She’s a really good horse.”
The 1-4 favorite, Lovely Syn has now earned $202,200 for her owner and breeder, Joemar Racing Stables.
Saginaw, who was claimed for $30,000 on March 8, 2012, by David Jacobson and Drawing Away Stable, was boxed in along the rail until the top of the stretch. Gobbling up ground once clear, the 7-year-old gelding caught Fiddlers Afleet with a furlong to go and edged away for a half-length win.
Saginaw RODE under Junior Alvarado as he notched his 13th victory in 16 starts since being claimed, including last year’s inaugural Affirmed Success and seven other stakes. His 10 victories in 2012 were tied for the most in North America, and he was voted the New York-bred champion older male.
“It’s a very good accomplishment when you start hitting these kinds of numbers with a horse,” said Jacobson. “It’s exciting for us to have Saginaw going into Saratoga off a magnificent performance like this.”
The 4-5 favorite, the bay son of Peruvian pushed his bankroll to $914,690.
(Jenny Kellner) Belmont Stakes This Sunday
The 145th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place this Saturday, June 8, at Belmont Park. Some notes from the track:
• Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey on Monday morning gave the go-ahead for Kentucky Derby winner Orb to face Preakness winner Oxbow in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes after the colt worked a half-mile in 48.30 over the main track at Belmont Park.
“He started off nice and steady, which Shug wanted, and finished up strong,” said regular exercise rider Jennifer Patterson.
The race will be the 21st Belmont in which the Derby and Preakness winner square off, although Orb and Oxbow will have plenty of company with as many as 15 possible to enter.
• Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin pronounced Incognito ready for the Belmont Stakes on Sunday after the colt breezed four furlongs on the Belmont training track in 48.25 under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
“He galloped out well and worked with a nice horse, Irsaal,” said McLaughlin.
• With the threat of rain overnight, trainer Tom Albertrani opted to give Peter Pan winner Freedom Child a strong gallop Sunday morning at Belmont Park. The Malibu Moon ridgling covered six furlongs on the main track, opening up through the lane under a hold by rider Luis Saez.
“We just let him stretch his legs,” said Albertrani, proclaiming major preparations over for Freedom Child.